The best way to keep deer from destroying your flowerbeds and gardens is by planting smart from the start with deer resistant perennial plants!
Gardening takes time, effort, and patience. However, most gardeners are never happy with the site of their precious garden plants being damaged and devoured by the deer.
Deer can cause have havoc in your gardens and can damage plants and vegetation in a flash. In fact, often before you have a chance to do anything about it. Therefore, the best way is the preventive way, where you grow plants that can resist deer and deer attacks right from the start.
And do we ever have some of the best deer-resistant perennials featured in today’s article. In fact, the seven species and varieties listed below will not only make your garden more colorful and beautiful, they will also help sustain your gardening efforts and investments for the long term as well!
7 Deer Resistant Perennial Plants To Help Keep Deer Away
#1) Bee Balm
The Bee Balm plant attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees, but not deer. In fact, deer won’t come close to this plant because of its potent, minty-orange fragrance.
The red, purple, or white blooms of Bee Balm (also called Monarda or Wild Bergamot) can grow both during the spring or fall season. The plant blooms and grows best in full sunshine. However, it can also grow in partial sunshine with fairly good results.
When planting Bee Balm, it prefers soil that is more wet than dry. Plant transplants 18 to 24 inches apart to allow plenty of space for growth. This also allows for good air circulation, helping the plant avoid the growth of mildew on its leaves.
Bee Balm requires adequate and frequent watering for the first few weeks after planting. Adding a few inches of mulch to the soil will help conserve adequate moisture, and help control weeds. Once established, bee balm is extremely low maintenance.
2) Coreopsis – 7 Great Deer Resistant Perennial Plants
Also known as Tick Seed, the Coreopsis plant can grow in many different kinds of soil and is highly resistant to deer. The blooms of the plant primarily have a yellow color, but there are also other bi-color varieties that are available as well.
Coreopsis is also ultra resistant to hot and dry weather, and with its long-lasting bloom cycles, it can really add a big punch of color to the landscape.
Coreopsis is best grown in conditions where it gets at least 6 hours of sunlight every day. While the plant may also grow in partial sunlight as well, the results will not be the same. Coreopsis prefers well-drained soil and will struggle when trying to grow in wet and heavy soils. The good news is that the plant handles drought and low moisture well.
The full bloom season for the plant is mid-summer through the early fall season. Another big advantage for Coreopsis – you won’t need to add additional fertilizers with its ability to grow in poor soil.
3) Rudbeckia – 7 Great Deer Resistant Perennial Plants
Also called Black-Eyed Susan, the Rudbeckia perennial plant has beautiful yellow and red flowers that have a very long bloom time. The Goldsturm Rudbeckia variety can also attract butterflies and make the garden more vibrant with pollinator activity.
The thick texture and the fuzzy cover of the leaves protects the plant from deer. When planted near other perennials deer love, they often provide protection as deer keep clear when they see Rudbeckia.
When planting, fill holes with organic matter (compost is best) to help it establish quickly. Rudbeckia will need at least 6 hours of sunlight every day to grow and bloom best. It grows well in well-drained and moist soils and can tolerate both drought and heat when properly established.
Ensuring good space between the plants provides for better air circulation, which is needed for both growth and to keep mildew on its leaves from becoming an issue. Fertilize with an all purpose balanced fertilizer in the spring to promote good blooming habits. Product Link : Foxfarm All-Purpose Perennial Fertilizer
4) Echinacea – 7 Great Deer Resistant Perennial Plants
Also called Cornflower, Echinacea is a perennial flowering plant that deer stay completely away from. The blooms have colors from pink and orange, to yellow as well.
Even better, Echinacea invites butterflies and bees to your flowerbeds. All while keeping deer and even rabbits away!
You can sow Coneflower seed in the early fall, or propagate by transplanting small divisions in the early spring or fall. Like many other deer-resistant perennial plants, Echinacea requires full sun for 6 to 8 hours every day for best growth.
Echinacea can and will survive partial sun conditions, but the bloom cycles will not be as intense. An additional advantage is that it grows equally well in poor soils. For this reason, fertilizing is rarely needed. Once the plant is established, it can resist a variety of adverse conditions including drought.
For more on growing coneflowers, check out our article How To Grow Coneflower on our site. With its ability to attract pollinators and resist pests, it truly is a must plant!
5) Liriope – 7 Great Deer Resistant Perennial Plants
Liriope also goes by the common name of Lily Turf. This tough plant resembles a small grass and can grow up to 18 inches tall. The blooms of the plant can be white or lavender in color.
While the plant can grow well in full sun, it can also be grown in other partial shade as well – and usually with good results. It is one of the few plants that can also survive salt in the soil, and therefore is grown in certain coastal areas. This trait also makes it great for growing by sidewalks where salt is used to melt winter snow and ice.
Both nursery transplants and divisions are good for propagating the plant. When first planting, water regularly to help the plant’s roots establish in the soil. Once established, this plant is extremely low maintenance!
Lilly Turf plant can grow well in poor soils, and will not need additional fertilizers to thrive. Wonderful as a border plant or as a focal point in flowerbeds, this plant is an excellent “front-line” defense to keep deer out.
6) Allium – 7 Great Deer Resistant Perennial Plants
The Allium family also includes garlic and onions. However, there are certain allium ornamental varieties as well that can impart profound beauty to your garden. Allium plants not only resist deer but also rodents. The species comes in a wide variety of sizes, colors and types.
The blooming time for Allium is early summer or late spring. You can choose a plant for your soil type, as there are different varieties of Allium, with different grades of hardiness. See to it that the plant gets full sun, along with fertile and well-drained soil. If there is only partial sun available, the plant will not bloom and flower nearly as well.
Planting all depends on the bulb size. A good rule of thumb is to plant bulbs to a depth of about two and a half times the size of the bulb. Plant allium at a distance of 3 to 8 inches apart for proper air circulation.
The plant thrives in fertile soil, and adding compost when planting will help ensure good plant growth. Once established in the soil, Allium is highly drought resistant.
7) Dianthus – 7 Great Deer Resistant Perennial Plants
The Dianthus plant is great for resisting deer, but unfortunately, they are loved by rabbits! These plants can grow in a variety of conditions, the exception summers where high heat is an issue.
Dianthus are wonderful for attracting pollinators. Their red and pink flowers attract butterflies,and bees as well as hummingbirds in droves. One thing is for sure, they will bring a lot of activity to your yard!
Sow seed for Dianthus during the spring season when there is no risk of frost. Full sunshine will ensure that the plant blooms within three months. Once plants finish their bloom, deadheading can often bring on a second bloom cycle in early to mid fall.
Moisture is a big keep to success for Dianthus. If conditions get too dry, additional watering is a must for good blooming cycles. Be careful not to over water. Too much water can and will clog the roots.
As for fertilizing, Dianthus will usually grow well without additional nutrients. Keep the plants 2 to 3 inches apart when planting to ensure good air circulation and better blooms.
Here is to keeping the deer away with some of the most beautiful deer resistant plants around!
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